Since I’ve published my book, I’ve received a lot of questions about my writing, so I’m dedicating this post to a few of them.
1) When did you start writing?
I started writing grade school/high school. I started to take things a bit more seriously in college where I tried to be more descriptive, create emotion, and flesh out characters. This continued as I attempt to up my writing with each book. Something I still continue today.
2) How long does it take to finish a novel?
It takes me about a year from typing the first words to last. I have a day job, so I can only manage to write a few hours a few nights a week and a bit longer on weekends or days off. I have to set it aside for a few months or a year before I can re-read it to find some of the grammatical mistakes. Since I already know all of the words, it’s really hard for me to edit. I have to hand it off to a few good people to review and show me my errors.
3) How do you come up with your ideas?
This one varies. For one novel, it was the new sheets I bought for my bed. They had lace at the top, which seemed very Southern for me and sparked a series of thoughts that became a post-Civil War era novel that I wrote in college. A nightmare from watching too much of the Sarah Connor Chronicles became the beginning of a post-apocalyptic novel. Going to Bubonicon in 2011 introduced me to Steampunk. I wanted to create a story set in that world, which obviously became The Inventor and His Muse. Usually, I have a time period or idea that really interests me, and my imagination handles the rest.
4) Do you have the whole plot decided before you begin?
Hahaha, no. I have plans for the overall story and specific scenes when I begin, but most of it comes along the way. That way I can change my mind as the story progresses and see where it makes sense to have the characters end up. Sometimes I have an ending planned, sometimes I just see where things go.
5) Since you’ve written other novels, why did you pick The Inventor and His Muse to publish first?
This one was tough. When I made the decision to self-publish, I wanted to start out with one of my stronger novels, which honestly threw out what I’d written in college. The post-apocalyptic one and the Steampunk one were the final contenders. Both themes are very popular right now. The deciding factor was actually the title. I’m terrible at coming up with titles. Write 400 pages? No problem. Write a few words to name it? Impossible. So, the fact that I had already named Gemma and Winston’s adventure meant that it was going live to the world.
6) How did you make the cover?
I decided that I wanted a pocket watch to be on the cover for a couple of reasons. It’s part of the storyline, and it’s very Steampunk. It didn’t make sense to me to find someone to draw what Gemma and Winston might look like on the cover. I was trying to do everything myself, so I went on eBay and found that there were a ton of Steampunk pocket watches. I found a few that sort of matched what I had in my head and was going to photograph one of them. Then we went to Emerald City Comic Con last year and found a booth where a nice woman made Steampunk jewelry. One of her main pieces was a copper pocket watch. We positioned it on the back of an action figure box for its glossy, reflective nature, and took lots of pictures. The best became the cover. The font is a free one from Google.
7) Do you have any favorite authors?
I read all the time, but I tend to go towards plots instead of authors. That being said, I do love Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastards series. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is one of my favorite love stories. Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One and Armada are fun and nostalgic, along with Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series. For romance mixed with mystery, Jayne Ann Krentz is very good. I also liked The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman, but, unfortunately, I haven’t read anything else from her.
That’s it for this round of Q&A! If you have more questions, submit them in the comments below, and I’ll answer them in the next segment.